Sooner or later, we all fall in love with our own Mr. Darcys and Jane Eyres. “Shrined in double retirement”, deeply immersed in their fictional universes and lovingly shy with their captivating words, introverts are the most beautiful beings among highly sensitive people.
Being misunderstood for a pompous fellow, Mr. Darcy explains his inner turmoil with a mutter: “I certainly have not the talent which some people possess, of conversing easily with those I have never seen before.”
The thrilling face of love doesn’t come easily to persons in hiding. Even if it does appear from thin air, which is a miraculous rarity, reading its signs and responding appropriately is emotionally draining. Unique and individualistic as they are, introverts rather draw their blinds and read on.
And it’s perfectly fine! As an extroverted guy, I laugh loudly and shout my arguments, but my eyes are always drawn to a girl quietly drawing cityscapes on her beer glass in the corner. I’ve known many introverts in my life, and all of them have delighted me with their emotional depths, their windowsill contemplations and their remarkable minds.
To all of you sensitive souls in search of affection and meaning, here’s what I’ve learned from my beautifully introverted friends and their challenges of living an exciting and fulfilling love life.
A Frightening Delight of A Meeting Place
Beer pong might be fun, but feeling the evening breeze on your skin is simply electrifying. Miles Davis is endlessly smoother when experienced from your kitchen carpet, and so are Faulkner and Richard Linklater. There’s nothing as wonderful as an introverted soul and the way it projects itself into arts, thoughts and serenity. The only problem is – there’s no one around to share your stellar visions with.
A line between seclusion and loneliness is thin and infinitely confusing, and once revealed, the need for someone to love and understand your solitary meditations starts to grow with every page. The question of where to meet and how to approach them becomes essential. Here are a couple of ideas.
The Outskirts of a Party
Undoubtedly, parties and other equally crowded social events are not exactly your cup of tea. They’re cramped places full of empty chatter that always deepen your reticence and make you wish you were comfortably alone for the evening. They are far beyond your comfort zone, and for the time being, they should be. (Un)fortunately, it’s the only way of meeting your kin, and you can be sure that each party has at least two.
If joining a roaring argument or starting a conversation with extroverts is simply too overwhelming, check out the hiding places – usually, there’s a fellow loner on the outskirts eager to escape the room and rush off home. Offer them a smile and they would most likely understand. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself noiselessly talking about what really matters.
The Soulmate Club
“Introverts tend to be slow to warm up to people enough to connect. Seeing people over and over and sharing a common interest provide easier entry into conversation than just going to a party or bar where you have to jump in with both feet right away”, explains Sophia Dembling, author of the book Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After.
And if you think about it really hard, Dembling has a point. Starry nights and silent wonders might be only things powerful enough to move you, but there are certainly others who share your love for world’s simple pleasures. Decide what interest you the most, and look around for a class, course or a club you can join. Finding a person with that one, but significant mutual interest might prove as unexpectedly fulfilling and ultimately lead to a deep and genuine connection.
The Joe Fox & Kathleen Kelly Story
After all, romance can be found in the most mundane of places, and all it takes is a little effort on your part. As daunting as it may be, approaching other people is the only way of communicating your magnificent inner self – even though introverted, you have no reason of being unconfident about your passions and beliefs, and the lack of courage is the only obstacle standing in your way.
If immediate interactions make you hesitant and clumsy, try exploring Tinder and similar dating scenes in the online environment. Apart from removing the initial dread of having to make eye contact, these dating apps will actually allow you to think before responding and give you a little time to express the real you. Each day you get to “like” a few people and get a few likes back yourself, and the occasional Tinder super like will always bring a smile to your face and and open up some magnificent possibilities.
Online communication might remove so much of your conversational blocks, and if you do stumble upon a person you like in the real life, consider talking to them via social media first. That way, your shyness won’t seem as obvious as usual.
From Candlelit Dinners to Eternity
Once you’re comfortably cuddled in the arms of the sleepy person beside you, try not to fear. As always, personality conflicts might appear, but there’s nothing a little conversation can’t solve. I’ve learned that introverts have an especially hard time adapting to the hectic dynamic that partnerships often spur, but I’ve also learned that when two people are equally mature, reasonable and caring, sitting in silence can be a blissful daydream. Here’s some advice on how to communicate with talkative and light-hearted partner.
Coffee, Cigarettes & Conversations
Intimate dates are your chance to shine.
“Introverts tend to be most comfortable in one-on-one situations where they don’t have to compete for attention,” claims Dembling, “They can be good conversationalists if they’re with someone who gives them the space to respond and shows interest in their interests.”
The fact that filler conversations come boring and exhausting to you is only a sign of your profound personality, and you shouldn’t feel bad about avoiding them. Instead of pretending to care about superficial matters, propose an idea that occupies your brooding mind and see what happens. If a person sitting beside you is mature enough to enjoy an in-depth conversation, there’s an opportunity for you to make a strong connection and eventually open up.
The Privilege of Solitary Growth
Even the most extroverted of people need their alone time. Only in quiet moments of solitude we can see ourselves for who we really are and replenish those life juices so important for fuelling our relationships.
It’s a privilege every soul-searching person is entitled to, and those who don’t understand the significance it has for our inner fulfilment are simply not eligible for developing a joint identity yet. As a stargazing introvert, you probably need these moments to be slightly longer, and explaining that to your significant other might be a challenge.
Instead of retreating emotionally, offer a simple argument to justify your case – rather than an insult to your lover, your “me” time is a perfectly natural need for reflection and self-improvement, and as such, it betters you both as an individual and a partner.
But being an important need for your spiritual and intellectual growth, you will have to understand, respect and meet the opposing needs of your partner in return. If squeezing their way out of the teeming clubs is their idea of evening fun, try to meet them in the middle and join their outdoorsy escapades as often as your peace-seeking nature allows you.
Explain, Retreat & Resolve
It’s well known and confirmed in my experience that introverted people are not exactly the most triumphant of fighters. In fact, conflicts probably make you immensely passive-aggressive as well, but unfortunately, the one thing you will not be able to avoid in your relationship are arguments.
Perhaps it’s for the best to set some ground rules early on and practice them along the way – only by staying clear-minded and retaining control, you’ll be able to voice your opinions and state your problems directly and clearly enough. And since you always need a silent moment to regroup your strengths and gather your thoughts, start off with that.
Talk to your partner about the way you talk, explain that your ponderous silence is not a way of turning them off, but a method that helps you verbalize your emotional response, and ask for a little patience. And if misunderstanding is still unsolvable, don’t stay in a relationship in which you’ll be lonely, instead of having someone to be alone with.
“Solitude matters, and for some people it’s the air they breathe,” says Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
Having a little courage, empathy and patience is the best way of finding someone to share that nectarous air with.
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